15 Women-Owned Ethical Fashion Brands to Support

a women with blond white hair stands in front of an orange background wearing a dark blue dress
Cayley Pater

Though the fashion industry is largely dominated by women, particularly as garment workers, gender inequality at the executive level is striking — just 14% of the top 50 global fashion brands are led by women.

We are proud to go against the status quo. We are a women-owned business committed to elevating other women-led brands working to create a more responsible, sustainable, and diverse fashion industry.

In celebration of the incredible women designers in the ethical fashion space, we rounded up 15 women-owned fashion brands available on our site. From a zero-waste fashion label working with artisans in Cambodia to a jewelry brand crafting pieces right here in Portland, we are proud to carry a variety of women-owned fashion brands worth supporting. 

1. Milo + Nicki

Milo + Nicki creates earth-friendly, cruelty-free clothing made from banana fabric. The conscious brand’s versatile and sustainably made collection is handwoven from banana tree waste — which is a byproduct of the banana harvesting process.⁠ This banana tree waste is woven into fabric by female weavers in India using a 100% carbon neutral process and is hand-dyed with plant-based indigo and madder root. These weavers work in safe conditions and receive fair wages for their craft.

Values: Sustainable, Vegan, Fair Trade, Heritage

SHOP MILO + NICKI

2. Altar

Founded by Amy Fox and Cassie Ridgway, Altar is a Portland-based fashion label creating pieces from start to finish in the U.S. Their pieces are made-to-order and designed, patterned, cut, and sewn in Los Angeles, California and Portland, Oregon. Altar’s gorgeous garments are made from organic and naturally dyed textiles, as well as deadstock fabrics and American-milled textiles when possible. Altar is also committed to sustainable job creation for women and ensures all employees earn living wages.

Values: Sustainable, Fair Trade, Made in USA

SHOP ALTAR

3. Anchal Project

Anchal Project was founded by sisters Colleen and Maggie Clines after a trip to Ajmer, India, where they witnessed the extreme oppression women faced as commercial sex workers and recognized the economic opportunity the area’s rich textiles could provide.

Anchal Project is a women-run nonprofit that employs 77 artisans and has trained over 150 women in Ajmer to date. The women artisans create stunning scarves, bags, bedding, and other textiles with natural materials, such as organic cotton, using the traditional technique of Kantha quilting. For a behind-the-scenes look at the ancient, sustainable process, check out our blog post on Anchal Project and Kantha quilting.

Values: Fair Trade, Heritage, Sustainable, Vegan

SHOP ANCHAL PROJECT

4. Soluna Collective

Soluna Collective creates beautiful staples for the capsule wardrobe — all produced in small batches by hand with ethical and fair trade standards. All products are made with natural fibers, and eco friendly or low impact dyes. Using linen, certified organic cotton, Tencel, and deadstock fabrics, Soluna Collective keeps sustainability at their core.

Each piece is hand woven and sewn in India by women earning living wages. Soluna Collective will also recycle or repair used Soluna Collective garments when they’ve come to the end of their lifecycle. Soluna Collective is a women owned company based in Portland, Oregon. 

Values: Fair Trade, Sustainable, Vegan, Heritage

SHOP SOLUNA COLLECTIVE

5. Darzah

Darzah is an ethical fashion brand, part of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Child’s Cup Full, that was created by our owner and founder, Cayley Pater, and the non-profit’s founder, Dr. Janette Habashi. The social enterprise specializes in tatreez embroidery — an ancient, traditional art from Palestine that has been passed down for generations.

Each of Darzah’s pieces are handcrafted from locally sourced leather and are hand-embroidered by refugee and low-income women artisans who earn fair wages for their work. The Fair Trade Federation member’s mission is to celebrate the art of tatreez embroidery and Palestine’s rich cultural heritage while providing economic opportunities for women artisans in Palestine’s West Bank.

Values: Fair Trade, Heritage, Sustainable

SHOP DARZAH 

6. Abby Alley

Abby Alley created her namesake fashion brand to celebrate the work of artisans in East Africa she had met throughout her travels to the region. The ethical brand works with skilled artisans in Kenya and Tanzania who handcraft beautiful bags from locally sourced Masaai cow leather. Women artisans then hand-stitch traditional Masaai beadwork on the bags (working from their homes, enabling them to stay with their families as they earn a living from their crafts).

To ensure sustainable job opportunities for their artisans, Abby Alley works with artisan cooperatives that guarantee fair wages and safe working environments. The artisan makers earn three times the standard rates for the region — plus they earn provisions for healthcare and transportation.

Values: Fair Trade, Heritage

SHOP ABBY ALLEY

7. Salt + Umber

Salt + Umber is a conscious, earth-minded brand with women empowerment at their core. They are a women-owned business that celebrates women-run businesses and provides sustainable employment opportunities for women throughout India.

Each small batch of handmade Salt + Umber products is made in factories approved by the Sedex Members Ethical Trading Audit (SMETA), and the brand has a micro-loan program integrated into their production process for the rural Indian women hand-weaving their thoughtfully made products.

Values: Fair Trade, Heritage

SHOP SALT + UMBER

8. Symbology

Marissa Heyl, the founder and Creative-in-Chief of Symbology, was inspired to start her ethical fashion brand after her research as a Mahatma Gandhi Fellow on the impact fair trade has on craftswomen in India. Today, Symbology partners with women from across India and developing countries as a means to preserve treasured ancient crafts and provide sustainable employment to artisans.

The women artisans Symbology partners with handcraft each piece and use traditional, generations-old techniques, such as block printing and tie-dye. Symbology’s pieces are also made using natural textiles and eco-friendly dyes.

Values: Fair Trade, Heritage, Vegan

SHOP SYMBOLOGY

9. Lunasol

LUNASOL is a Portland-based handmade jewelry brand founded by Lindsey Alonzo. Lindsey, inspired by international landscapes and the textures and colors of jewelry from regions across the globe, creates bold, worldly designs that are truly one-of-a-kind.

All of LUNASOL’s striking pieces are crafted using metal that was manufactured in Portland. And when possible, Lindsey uses recycled metal, melting down excess brass, silver, and gold scraps from production to be used in new collections.

Values: Sustainable, Made in USA, Vegan

SHOP LUNASOL

10. Days of August

Marie-Pier Labelle — the founder, designer, and maker of Days of August — is dedicated to crafting sustainable, consciously made jewelry. All of Days of August’s pieces are crafted, filed, polished, sanded, and spot-welded by hand with locally sourced, reclaimed stainless steel.

The brand is also carbon neutral. The studio where all of Days of August’s jewelry is created is powered by solar panels, and each year, Days of August plants more than 300 trees in rural South Australia to offset emissions.

Values: Fair Trade, Sustainable, Vegan

SHOP DAYS OF AUGUST

11. Thunderpants

Celeste Sipes, the founder of Thunderpants, is passionate about creating uncompromising, comfortable, and high-quality underwear that women will love. Thunderpants’s undergarments are made responsibly and can be traced from start to finish. The underwear is made from Fair Trade Certified organic cotton from New Zealand, and is dyed and milled in Australia before being sent to a women-owned factory in Oregon, where the underwear is cut and sewn.

Thunderpants has both versatile solids and eye-catching prints in their collection of undergarments. The fun, unique Thunderpants pieces are designed by local artists from Portland, Oregon.

SHOP THUNDERPANTS

12. Coclico

Founded by Sandra Canselier, Coclico is an ethical shoe brand from Spain committed to conscious, local production. Coclico’s exceptionally crafted shoes are made by hand in a small, family-run factory in Mallorca, Spain by artisans earning living wages.

The slow-made shoes are made with materials sourced locally in Europe, including leather that meets strict standards for quality and sustainability, as well as sustainable materials like cork. Coclico is also carbon neutral — the Spanish shoe brand purchases carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions each year.

Values: Fair Trade, Heritage, Sustainable

SHOP COCLICO

13. Tooche

TOOCHE is an ethical, sustainable shoe brand from Latvia working with skilled Latvian artisan shoemakers who earn fair wages for their crafts. TOOCHE’s unique shoes are made using eco-conscious materials such as Piñatex, a vegan leather made from pineapple leaves discarded from the pineapple industry. The brand also uses sustainably harvested wool, a byproduct from sheep farms, for their collections.

Values: Fair Trade, Sustainable

SHOP TOOCHE

14. Rose & Fitzgerald

Rose & Fitzgerald is an art, design, and craft studio based in Kampala, Uganda that partners with artisans in East Africa who use techniques that have been passed down through generations. The brand sources their materials, such as pure brass, palm leaf, and organic cotton, locally and responsibly.

SHOP ROSE & FITZGERALD

15. Swahili Coast Design

Swahili Coast Design is a worker-owned, worker-managed, worker-financed artisan co-op. The fair trade brand’s worker-owned cooperatives are located in Tanzania and Kenya, where co-op members earn fair wages, have safe working conditions, and have opportunities for growth. Eighty percent of these co-op members are women, making Swahili Coast a majority women-owned organization.

Values: Fair Trade, Sustainable, Heritage

SHOP SWAHILI COAST DESIGN

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